FORMER Fil-Am actor and athlete David Bunevacz was sentenced to 210 months or 17 years of jail time Monday (US time) as California court finds him guilty of scamming investors’ money for his cannabis vape pens business.
Apart from his jail time, United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer also ordered him to pay $35,267,851 in restitution, according to the decision posted by the United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California.
The court said the 53-year-old actor raised over $45,227,266 from over 100 victim investors and incurred losses approximately $35,267,851
Instead of using the funds for the business, the court said Bunevacz misappropriated the money to support his opulent lifestyle including a luxurious house in Calabasas, Las Vegas trips, jewelry, designer handbags, a lavish birthday party for his daughter, and horses,
Bunevacz’ legal fiasco began in 2010 when it was found out that he created several cannabis-related companies such as CB Holding Group Corp. and Caesarbrutus LLC supposedly to attract potential investors.
According to Bunevacz, his companies sell vape pens containing cannabis products, like CBD oil and THC.
Fisher stressed that Bunevacz “preyed on individuals who believed he was their friend” and that the “seriousness of [his] conduct cannot be captured in mere dollars and cents.”
The court also found out that he continued his scheme even while serving probation for a state court conviction, concluding, “Not even a criminal conviction and the threat of jail convinced [Bunevacz] to become a law-abiding citizen.”
To create a false appearance of business success, Bunevacz deceived his investors by providing forged documents such as bank statements, invoices and purchase orders.
What’s more, he concealed negative information to his investors such as his 2017 felony conviction for the unlawful sale of securities, according to an affidavit submitted in support of a criminal complaint in this case.
Bunevacz is expected to serve his jail sentence in California.
He is married to actress Jessica Rodriguez.
Photo credit: David Bunevacz with Jessica Rodriguez via David Bunevacz Flickr